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Durango lags behind pot’s big day

Locals still find ways to partake in history

You can’t buy marijuana in Durango, but locals are not exactly feeling left out. Various businesses, adventurous travelers and project innovators have taken advantage of the historic day.

Kris Rhodes, owner of Gandolf’s Smoke Shop on Main, said she’s had about 15 customers talk to her about making a special trip to Telluride on Wednesday to partake in the grand opening of three licensed recreational marijuana shops. She said they wanted to ”become part of history.”

Rhodes was curious, and she thought about making the trip herself, but she had to work. She also called a smoke shop in Silverton, and was informed that the shop will not open until April.

She doesn’t believe marijuana laws newly in affect will directly impact her business because the towns that have implemented the marijuana laws are outside of her regional clientele. Silverton and Telluride are not close enough to Durango for her to see a significant increase in accessory sales.

She does not plan on becoming a licensed shop once the laws are regulated in Durango because her business is too close to Durango High School, she said.

One aspect of the state’s new marijuana laws up for discussion in Durango will be where one can smoke. State law allows marijuana to be smoked but only in private. However, the definition of “private” has been ambiguous for local lawmakers, and metropolitan ordinances will further define what constitutes “private” use of pot.

As for La Plata County, a moratorium is in effect delaying marijuana laws in an effort to give commissioners and county officials more time to deal with a sensitive subject. Commissioners have met with several department heads and lawyers to begin writing regulations. Commissioners anticipate a draft rule of who can smoke pot and where and when they can do so ready for public comment sometime this summer.

The new state law has inspired more than just growers, curious travelers, and licensed shops.

Corinne Tobias of Ignacio is the author of Wake & Bake: A cookbook. She independently published her book with her business partner, Aja Kolinski, just in time to coincide with the opening of licensed recreational marijuana shops. Aware of the changing marijuana laws in the state, she had a specific timeline in mind. The official release of the cookbook was set for New Year’s Day, the same day marijuana use would become legal in Colorado.

Her inspiration came from living in Paonia, where she was surrounded by growers. She decided to incorporate those resources in cooking organic meals, she said.

The book will be available at Animas Trading Co. in Durango. Tobias also has marketed her cannabis cookbook to bookstores in Boulder and dispensaries in the Denver area.

Once she is more established and the legality of cannabis is more consistent, she plans to expand throughout the state. The book, however, is available online for those who may not have easy access to one of the limited store locations.

When asked if she planned to market to any of the three licensed recreational marijuana shops in Telluride, she said: “That would be great. Telluride is one of my favorite places.”

Tobias, who also is a yoga instructor, prefers making edibles, and her book provides several recipes for people with special dietary needs.

She plans to further expand her marijuana series into travel and health and wellness, all relating to incorporating marijuana in various aspects of life.

vguthrie@durangoherald.com

May 18, 2022
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